When the subject of technology - particularly automated technology - comes up in discussions with clients, you often see the flash of horror as their first thought is of a faceless, dispassionate automaton draining the humanity from communications and battering contacts senseless with spam.
This is entirely understandable. The advent of technology has brought many advances, but it has also led to a tsunami of unsolicited or poorly targeted emails, calls and texts.
Decades have been spent nurturing the emotional attachments to brands, so the idea of introducing automation in prospect and customer engagement leaves some in a cold Orwellian sweat. But what if automation understood your customers better than you? What if automation offered unrivalled insight into the thoughts and motives of prospects? What if automation actually improves your relationships with both on an emotional level?
We are talking about the death of spam.
Far from an Orwellian nightmare, smart businesses are integrating automation into their marketing strategies to do precisely that, and more. Not only are systems like HubSpot and SharpSpring adding unrivalled personalisation to customer engagement, they are also providing a wealth of data to guide the arm of strategy and planning.
It almost sounds against all that is holy to suggest automation delivers a better, more personalised journey than traditional marketing alternatives, but the stats don’t lie. Our MD Joe Birkedale recently revealed his love affair with statistics in The Drum. Included was this gem: "you are three times more likely to see a higher return on investment with inbound than traditional marketing."
Why? Because at the heart of this automation is choice. Prospects choose to provide their details to receive content that is of interest. They opt-in. When employed properly, brands can adopt automation to take prospects from awareness, through to salivating leads and even on to the promised land of advocacy, 24/7. To butcher another marketing buzzword, this is the antithesis of disruptive communication. Rather than demanding the attention of a consumer or business hoping they may be thinking of you, inbound automation follows the issues that are important to prospects, offering advice and guidance when they are actively searching for answers, through insightful use of paid, earned and social channels.
Of course, the potential for automation is all well and good, but you first need to get their attention, make an irresistible offer for their details, and then keep them interested. This is where a good content strategy comes in that works symbiotically with the technology. Content that generates awareness and offers information so interesting and useful that consumers and businesses are happy to surrender their personal details to get it. Content that then nurtures a prospect through a soft-sell approach until they choose to become a lead.
So far from the stuff of nightmares, automation can offer unrivalled personalisation at a time when marketers and brands are seeking the most authentic, cost-effective means of improving their buying cycles. Automation that means the death of spam and the birth of personalisation.
If you would to find out more about marketing automation and if it is right for your business, don’t hesitate to click the button below.